Windmill and canal near Hoogeveen, Netherlands, by Joyce Thiel 1983
A reader, retired teacher Bert Otten, who was once part of the old WCG, sent me a paper with his reasons why he feels that the Dutch are the descendants of the biblical tribe of Zebulun. He told me that I could edit and/or use what he sent in any way.
Here are his ten clues with portions of the explanations edited out, mainly for space considerations:
1st Clue: To dwell – dwelling
And Leah conceived again, and bare Jacob the sixth son. And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband DWELL with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun [=DWELLING] (Gen 30:19-20, KJV throughout, unless mentioned).
The name Zebulun means to dwell or dwelling and this gives a clue for the population of the low countries. Home, homeliness, cosiness, intimate dwelling, it’s all very important to the Dutch. The Dutch word ‘gezelligheid’ is hard to translate into other languages, ‘cosiness’ comes close.
The Netherlands is a relative small country, densely populated, 16 million people, and yet the biggest town, Amsterdam, has only 820,000 people (Rotterdam 620,000). The Netherlands has a village-like atmosphere compared to other countries. Foreigners often regard Holland as one big garden. There is no wilderness, no wild country. Everything is neat, clean, systematic, well ‘groomed’, ‘gezellig’, tidy, even our forests seem to be tidy…
2nd Clue: dwellings ‘on-Sea’
Zebulun shall dwell at the SHORE of the sea, and he shall be a SHORE for ships … (Gen 49:13a, JPS). Z’vulun will live AT THE SEASHORE, with ships anchoring along his coast … (Gen 49:13a, CJB).
The Hebrew word ‘chof’ means a cove (as a sheltered bay):—coast [of the sea], haven, shore, [sea-]side.
The Netherlands has only sandy beaches, from the islands in the north (province of Friesland) to the islands in the south (province of Zealand). The beaches are bordered by sand dunes, sometimes 50m high and at some places 4km wide. Before the great land reclamations started, half of the country was close to the sea…
3rd Clue: Zebulun, a haven for ships
Zebulun shall dwell at the HAVEN of the sea; and he shall be for an HAVEN OF SHIPS … (Gen 49:13).
There are different translations for ‘chof’. It can be translated either as beach or haven (port). This is quite logical when we see that in the past the beach was often the ‘port’ for vessels…
Rotterdam was the biggest port of the world for 50 years and still is the biggest port of Europe. Rotterdam and surrounding harbours are called Europoort. It is the ‘mouth’ of Europe. Rotterdam has a turnover of 430 million tons a year (2010). Rotterdam is the transport hub of Europe.
4th Clue: Zebulun, a travelling people
And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy GOING OUT; and, Issachar, in thy tents (Deut 33:18)…
The VOC, Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie, the Dutch East India Company, had many ships built and organized many trips to the far east...
The VOC is the Dutch East India Company, the WIC is the West India Company and there was the Nordic Company of the whalers. The Dutch were the leading nation in whaling for two centuries, Zebulun rejoice in thy going out.
The Netherlands is a transport land, a transit land. Rotterdam is the hub of Europe, and Amsterdam is an important port too. The boers of South-Africa are mainly of Dutch stock and they had their ‘Great Trek’ (1830-1850) from the Cape towards what later was to become Natal, Orange Freestate and Transvaal, in an effort to escape the influence of the English…
5th Clue: Zebulun, abundance of the seas
… for they [Zebulun and Issachar, Holland and…] shall suck of the ABUNDANCE of the SEAS … (Deut 33:19b).
Moses includes the blessing of Issachar into the blessing of Zebulun: And of Zebulun [Moses] said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; and, Issachar, in thy tents (v. 18). There is a separate emphasis in verse 18, but verse 19 concerns both tribes: They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand (v19).
The phrase abundance of the seas concerns many items over the past centuries: herring fishing, fishing in general, whaling, the harvesting of shrimps, mussels and oysters, trade coming by sea, dredging vessels, making of dykes, canals and ports, Holland-America line, Dutch merchant fleet in the 20th century, naval wars, shipbuilding, etc. Our riches came from the sea and by sea!…
6th Clue: Zebulun, treasures hid in the sand
… for they [Zebulun and Issachar, Holland and…] shall suck … of the TREASURES hid in the SAND (Deut 33:19c).
This part of the prophecy needs some elaboration. In the first place we think of the flatfish which hides in the sand which has been important to Dutch fishing.
Gravel and sand themselves are treasures as well. The Netherlands is situated in the delta of Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt. Below many parts of the Netherlands are huge layers of sand and gravel. Especially along the Meuse are many sand deeps and gravel deeps, lakes which have come into existence by dredging the layers of sand and gravel.
Holland is the biggest flower and bulb exporter in the world. Behind the sand dunes there are ‘geestgronden’. These ‘geestgronden’ exist of sand from the dunes, mixed with clay. This mixture is very useful for the growing of bulbs. So even our tulip fields are linked to the abundance of the sea and treasures hid in the sand, as the North Sea brought both the clay and the sand…
7th Clue: Zebulun, a compassionate people
Now I will declare unto you what I did, I saw a man in distress and nakedness in wintertime, and had COMPASSION upon him, and stole away134 [“Finis non determinat probitatem actus.”] a garment secretly from my house, and gave it to him who was in distress. Do you therefore, my children, from that which God bestoweth upon you, show COMPASSION and mercy impartially to all men, and GIVE to every man with a good heart. And if ye have not at the time wherewith to GIVE to him that asketh you, have COMPASSION for him in bowels of mercy. I know that my hand found not at the time wherewith to give to him that asked me, and I walked with him weeping for more than seven furlongs, and my bowels yearned towards him unto COMPASSION (The Testament of Zebulun Concerning Compassion and Mercy).
According to the writer of the pseudo-epigraphic The Testament of Zebulun, the patriarch Zebulun was a giver and full of compassion.
8th Clue: Zebulun’s stone, a diamond
And thou shalt make the BREASTPLATE of judgment with cunning work … And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius [Ruben], a topaz [Simeon], and a carbuncle [Levi]: this shall be the first row. And the second row shall be an emerald [Judah], a sapphire [Issachar], and a DIAMOND [Zebulun] (Exodus 28:15-18).
Amsterdam has been a diamond city for 400 years. For 400 years Amsterdam was the most important diamond city in the world, but not anymore. Amsterdam retains first position in direct sales of diamonds to customers though. Famous diamonds like the Koh-I-Noor and the Star of the South were cut in Amsterdam (at Coster Diamonds).
There is a link between diamonds and Dutch speaking areas. Of course many diamonds were found in the Boer Republics of South Africa (near Kimberley of Orange Free State). Diamonds follow the trail of the tribe of Zebulun.
Antwerp was a diamond city before Amsterdam. At the time of the inquisition many diamond traders fled to Amsterdam. In the 1920’s the Amsterdam market collapsed and Antwerp grew in importance. Nowadays about 80% of the diamond trade is via Antwerp.
9th Clue: Zebulun, writers, bookprinting
[From Deborah’s Song] … and out of Zebulun they that HANDLE THE PEN OF THE WRITER (Judges 5:14b)
After Jacob’s prophecies (Gen 49) and Moses’ blessings (Deut 33), Deborah’s Song (Jud 5) is often an important source for clues towards the identities of the tribes.
This important verse for identifying Zebulun is translated in the Greek Sepuagint as: … and from Zabulon came they that draw with the scribe’s pen of record (Judges 5:14b, LXXE).
Holland is a very literate country and everything having to do with books, reading, writing, printing, publishing, cartography, Bible Societies, literacy, speaking foreign languages, can be seen as fulfilments of this clue.
Many Dutch people see Laurens Janszoon Coster (Haarlem, c. 1370 – 1440) as the inventor of the printing press. Although this cannot be proven and may not be true, Holland was a leading nation in printing in the 17th century…
10th Clue: Zebulun & Judah (Jews)
And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard … far off about the tabernacle of the congregation shall they pitch. And on the east side … shall they of the standard of the camp of JUDAH pitch … And those that do pitch next unto him shall be the tribe of ISSACHAR … Then the tribe of ZEBULUN … All that were numbered in the camp of JUDAH were 186,400, throughout their armies. These shall first set forth (Numbers 2:1-9).
There is a bond between Judah, Issachar and Zebulun. They are the three youngest sons of Leah.
The three tribes camped for 40 years in brotherly fashion in the camp of Judah (Num 9:1-9)…
Holland became independent in 1581 and over the past 430 years Jews have lived in relative peace among the Dutch, as long as we were independent. We lost control and were occupied in 1940 – 1945 by the Germans. Tragically 105,000 Jews were deported. The Germans were helped by a minority of Dutch nationals, sad to say. It would not have happened if we had been able to stay out of the war.
When the Dutch queen Beatrix visited the Knesset (1995), prime minister Rabin spoke of the ‘love story between Holland and Israel’. His speech can be read on http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Foreign+Relations/Israels+Foreign+Relations+since+1947/1995-1996/Address+in+the+Knesset+by+Prime+Minister+Rabin+in.htm
Rabin gave many possible reasons for the love relation between Holland and the State of Israel. Of course he did not mention the fact that we once resided together east of the tabernacle.
While I would have issues with some of the above (hence some of the edits that were not for space; nor am I convinced that ‘clue’ from The Testament of Zebulun is highly relevant), let me state that there are more valid reasons above than I saw in a book intended to prove this that I acquired years ago. I should add that we have been to the Netherlands twice, it is tidy and on the sea, and has little that could be considered as wilderness. And we have been to probably all of the provinces in the Netherlands.
And yes, let me conclude by stating that I do believe that the Dutch are essentially descended from biblical Zebulun.
Some items of possibly related interest may include:
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. A video of possible interest may be Will Will USA Spying Help the Beast Power?
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?